Actually, There Was One. And He Kept His Band Awesome.
We’ve all got a little bit of evil in us. Some can mask it with incredible levels of niceness and sincerity, while others find themselves drowning in the urge to set free the evil that’s locked inside the prison that is themselves. For those that fall into the latter category, Church of Misery’s And Then There Were None proves that they’re not alone. Well, to be fair, Church of Misery’s whole schtick centers around serial murderers and killings, a fascination a great deal of us have but only few (like last remaining original member, bassist Tatsu Mikami) vocalize willingly.
From the jump, And Then There Were None lures you into its dark cave of destruction, beginning with an audio clip of some poor soul being brutally bludgeoned to their end. The screams feel so real that when the bluesy doom bass riff of “The Hell Benders” enters in, you’re left both unsettled and intrigued.
Church of Misery is known for their Black Sabbathian take to doom; the psychedelic and blues influences are highly prevalent. Thinking only in terms of melding these two genres together, the outcome holds a heavily comparison to Sleep. Newest vocalist, Scott Carlson (currently of Repulsion, Cathedral, an early incarnation of Death and literally every good metal band ever) aids the band in veering away from those comparisons. His gruff vocality likens to the little voice inside all of us, the one we suppress but calls to us when we needn’t it most.
Take the last track on And Then There Were None, “Murderfreak Blues,” for instance. A diary entry borne of a traumatic mind, of sorts, Carlson growls out the lyrics, which include “Emotionless, I turn to murder/Straight to face indifference/Stoney-eyed, I dispense destruction/Unbridled butchery begins.” If that doesn’t send shivers up anyone’s spine, I don’t know what would.
And Then There Were None is a perfect example of a band maintaining their highest qualities despite so many changes. Even though Mikami has been the only lasting contributor, every new members’ efforts have proved an ideal pairing.